Stoke City are in a trio of Championship clubs said to be in the queue for Tottenham Hotspur winger Jack Clarke when the transfer window opens this weekend.
Clarke, aged 20, has stayed at Spurs in the first half of the season after spending last year on the fringes in loans at first club Leeds – who cashed an initial £8.5m for him in 2019 – and QPR.
He has made two Europa League appearances but is tipped for a temporary switch back to the Championship in January.
Football Insider claim that Stoke, managerless Sheffield Wednesday and Coventry are keeping an eye on his availability.
Stoke are in the market for a new forward after losing Tyrese Campbell to a season-ending knee injury. Steven Fletcher missed last night’s draw with Nottingham Forest with a knee injury too while Lee Gregory is on the sidelines with a nasty groin problem.
Tom Ince has barely featured and Thibaud Verlinden is struggling to break into Michael O’Neill’s plans.
Stoke have already been linked with Duncan Watmore, whose short-term contract at Middlesbrough is due to run out in a couple of weeks.
Clarke caught the eye with his skill on the right wing when he broke through under Marcelo Bielsa at Elland Road in 2018/19.
The Daily Mail’s secret scout reported: “He is a right-footed player who is comfortable when needing to take the ball on his left side.
“His record at youth level suggests he is a goalscorer and he is certainly a threat in possession. As soon as he receives the ball he takes angled runs at full-backs so he can go either inside or out. It is an asset to be able to switch from right to left in step whilst travelling with the ball.
“He is quite tall for a wide man and reminds me a little of Chris Waddle, a player who had all the skills of a wide man but eventually enjoyed playing more centrally.
“He does not look to have electric pace but can carry the ball at fair speed to unbalance the full back.”
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Our colleagues Football.London reckon he could be on the move over the next few days and weeks.
They report: “Spurs turned down plenty of loan offers for the young winger from the Championship because they felt his development was better served by training alongside the likes of Kane, Bale, Son and Co.
“The 20-year-old has made two appearances in the Europa League for the club.
“A decision will have to be made in January over whether Clarke could prove to be useful in the squad in case injuries hit in the final months of the season or whether a loan move and some regular football will complement his development at Spurs.”